Nazook / Nazouk is a very flaky, tender Armenian Pastry that is served with coffee. When looking for recipes to make with alphabet N, this was the first recipe my husband looked. I fell in love with the name of the pastry even without looking at the ingredients and decided that this is what I was going to make. Last week, when I was planning for the bakes for this week, I read the recipe. I was not looking forward to making another sweet bake, but my heart was set on making this particular one.
I was glad that this pastry is not the overly sweet kind. It was love at first site with the flaky pastry and the little changes that I made to the filling took it to a whole different level. The pastry is quite buttery and eating just one leaves you filled up, but the taste buds keeps wanting more. My husband kept coming back to the Nazook, in spite of complaining that he was too full to eat any more.
The dough is made with all butter and sour cream and hence has to be refrigerated before we roll and shape them. Also the yeast develops slowly in the refrigerator and hence if allowed to sit in the refrigerator overnight, the flavors develop better.
The filling is originally made with flour, sugar and butter. I added a little almond meal (you could tell that I love my almond meal) in the filling and it was just perfect. The almond meal gave a very nutty flavor to the Nazook and I would not have done it any other way.
My other bakes in the A – Z Baking around the World Marathon –
A for Almond cookies from China
B for Bretzel Rolls from Germany
D for Danish Cookies from Denmark
E for Empanada from Argentina
F for Franzbrötchen from Germany
G for Grissini from Italy
H for Hot Cross Buns from England
I for Irish Freckle Bread from Ireland
J for Jan Hagel Cookies from Netherlands
K for Kiffles / Kiflis from Hungary
L for Lagana Bread from Greece
M for Monkey Bread from USA
Preparation time – 20 minutes plus chilling time
Baking time – about 30 minutes
Difficulty level – Intermediate
Recipe adapted from – Fae’s Twist and Tango
Ingredients to make Nazook – Makes 16
For the dough –
- All purpose flour – 1 1/2 cups
- Instant yeast – 1 1/4 tsp
- Sour cream – 1/2 cup
- Unsalted butter – 8 tbsp (room temperature)
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Heavy cream and milk – 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp (for brushing the pastries)
For the filling –
- All purpose flour – 1/2 cup
- Almond meal – 1/4 cup
- Sugar – 3/4 cup
- Butter – 6 tbsp (room temperature)
- Vanilla – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Procedure to make Nazook –
To make the dough –
- I used my food processor to make the dough. To the bowl of the food processor, or in a large bowl, add the flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt and give it a mix.
- Add the butter and the sour cream and process until a smooth dough forms. The dough will be quite soft, but will not be sticky. If the dough appears too soft, then add a little more flour to combine. Do not add too much flour as it will make the pastry hard.
- Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 5 hours or overnight if possible.
Making the Filling –
- In a bowl, add the flour, sugar, almond meal and mix well to combine.
- Chop the butter into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture. Add the vanilla as well if using and mix the whole mixture together until it forms a wet sand like consistency.
Shaping and baking the Nazook –
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it ready.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit in room temperature for about 5 minutes. Divide the dough into two equal halves. This is a all fat dough and hence will be quite hard when taken out of the refrigerator. It will soften very quickly though, so we have to work quite fast.
- Dust the work surface with flour and roll one of the dough balls into a thin rectangle. Make sure that the dough is rolled pretty thin, without tearing the dough.
- Sprinkle half of the filling evenly over the rectangle, leaving a one inch border on all sides.
- Now start rolling the dough across tightly.
- Flatten the rolled dough with your palms and then evenly divide them into 8 pieces. You could use a crinkled cutter and cut them on an angle or just use a sharp knife and cut it. I used a sharp knife and cut them slightly at an angle.
- Place the shaped pastries on the prepared baking tray.
- Brush the top of the pastries with the cream and milk mixture and bake them for about 30 minutes.
- The pastry will be golden brown on top and will be firm to touch.
- Remove the Nazook from the oven and cool them completely on racks.
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